South Africa Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Krugerrand with Silver and Platinum Issues

krugerrand-or

On July 3, 1967, South Africa minted the world’s first bullion coin: the gold Krugerrand. At the time, the country produced 70-75% of the world’s gold, but many governments refused to touch it due to the country’s apartheid policies. Economic and political uncertainty were having the same effect on individuals it is having today: nervous investors look to put their money in safe-haven assets, notably gold. So South Africa decided to circumvent its problem with foreign governments by selling its gold directly to individuals, where possible. And since the average investor couldn’t afford to buy 400-ounce good delivery bars, buying gold coins as a store of value was the perfect solution.

The Krugerrand was a legal-tender coin, but gold prices in the private-sector market were volatile, so it was decided the coins would bear no denomination—they were valued solely on their precious-metal content. Each one contained an ounce of gold plus enough copper to help it resist damage (thanks to the copper, the coins had a distinctive red-gold color). The 22-karat coins were of the same fineness as the British gold Sovereign, which was no longer being produced. That first year, more than 40,000 bullion Krugerrands were minted, along with another 10,000 Proofs for collectors. In short order, South Africa was both creating and owning the market.

When President Richard Nixon formally ended the (already crumbling) gold standard in the early 1970s, sales of the Krugerrand skyrocketed. In 1980 South Africa expanded on the success of the one-ounce coin by adding fractional weights (1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 ounce) to its lineup. Other countries, observing the success of the reddish-gold coins, began to follow suit with their own bullion products, beginning with Canada’s gold Maple Leaf in 1979, China’s gold Panda in 1982, and so on. Even with so much competition, Krugerrands remain immensely popular and are available worldwide from vendors like APMEX.

Next year, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand, the Rand Refinery in South Africa is expanding its bullion program. Not only will it issue Krugerrand coins in silver and platinum, it will issue the gold coins in four entirely new weights: 50 ounces, 5 ounces, 1/20 ounce, and 1/50 ounce.

krugerrand-gold-reverse-proof

Commemorative 1-ounce gold Proof Krugerrand, with the date of first mintage (1967) and the privy mark indicating the special 50th-anniversary issue. (Photo courtesy of APMEX)

Unlike the gold Krugerrand, the 1-ounce platinum coins (to be struck in Proof only, .9999 fine) will bear a denomination: 10 Rand. The 1-ounce silver coins (.999 fine) will be denominated 1 Rand, and will be available in both Proof and Uncirculated formats. Both the silver and the platinum coins will have a small privy mark with a “50” on the reverse, just above the historic springbok emblem, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand.

privymark

The 50th-anniversary privy mark.

The specifications of the complete range of commemorative Krugerrands can be found below.



Fineness Weight* Diam. Mintage Limit Finish Denom.
GOLD
0.9167 50 oz. (1696.5 g) 100 mm 50 Proof none
0.9167 5 oz. (169.65 g) 50 mm 500 Proof none
0.9167 1 oz. (33.93 g) 32.69 mm 5000 Proof none
0.9167 1/2 oz. (16.965 g) 27 mm 5000 Proof none
0.9167 1/4 oz. (8.482 g) 22 mm 5000 Proof none
0.9167 1/10 oz. (3.393 g) 16 mm 5000 Proof none
0.9167 1/20 oz. (1.696 g) 12mm 20000 Proof none
0.9167 1/50 oz. (0.679 g) 8 mm 50000 Proof none
SILVER
0.999 1 oz. (31.107 g) 38.725 mm 15,000 Proof 1 Rand
0.999 1 oz. (31.107 g) 38.725 mm 500,000 Unc. 1 Rand
PLATINUM
0.9999 1 oz. (31.107 g) 32.69 mm 1,967 Proof 10 Rand

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Comments

  1. Erik H says

    Thanks for the timely article. Looking forward to adding some silver Krugerrands to my mix of bullion.

  2. World Mint News Blog says

    @Koichi Ito — It can be done, but they don’t make it easy. When you go to the website (http://www.samint.co.za/) and select the desired coin(s), you have to fill in a contact form so a mint representative can call you. I have a feeling they’d rather not handle direct retail sales, and that the awkwardness of the process is meant to encourage individuals to buy from resellers.

    @M Alexander — What is your experience with this? Thanks!

  3. M Alexander says

    I do remember a time when it wasn’t too difficult but I am going back a bit. I haven’t ordered directly for awhile but if the process does get to be too much, it’s always advisable to go to one of their authorised distributors.

    It can be a bit more expensive but it is much less a headache and the likely possibility you will have to pay customs & duty from a shipment directly from South Africa is very, very real – sometimes that alone will add alot to your purchase.

    I have made a request to the marketing department to suggest an option for direct purchases so when I receive a reply from them, I will share it here.

  4. 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air says

    I wonder if some people will shave down the 50th anniversary logo and sell the coin as a 1967 to someone for more money.

  5. Ernesto says

    I’ve been searching every so often to see if anyone is selling the silver coin yet. I came across this link:
    http://www.govmint.com/silver-krugerrand

    It looks like Gov Mint is going to be the North American distributor. I submitted my email to receive notifications on the silver krugerrand. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one of the bullion coins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *